Why go with HE Travel to Alaska? Because, along with our Alaskan partners, we show you the vast grandeur of Alaska better than anyone else.
People keep asking me what ship we’ll be using in Alaska. My answer to them is “We don’t use a ship! In fact, we have designed our itinerary so that you’ll rarely see cruise ship passengers, or for that matter, few people at all on several days of our tour.”
Where do we go? Like all HE Travel trips, we get off the beaten path to expose you to wonders you would never see with another tour company. For example, we’re literally going to the end of the road to a tiny village called McCarthy, surrounded by the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
Here is a description of the town, the lodging, and the scenery of McCarthy from the Mayor, Neil Darish:
McCarthy Lodge & Ma Johnson’s Hotel, our lodging and restaurant, are in the very center of the largest protected wilderness on earth. McCarthy is surrounded by more mountains and glaciers than anywhere else in Alaska! We have actively been restoring the main two blocks of McCarthy for some time. This ghost town was once “sin city” to the buttoned-up company town of Kennicott, 5 miles away. In its heyday, the Copper Mines of Kennicott produced the richest copper ever discovered, while McCarthy had moonshine, gambling, pool halls, and prostitution.
Even today, McCarthy is the hip town, and Kennicott is more of a hip-replacement town! The Golden Saloon is the local hangout. The Lodge has an amazing James Beard Competition featured chef who works with local delicacies to create superb tasting menus.
The town of McCarthy is a small-town bush Alaska experience, but not a redneck one! This remote outpost is gay friendly, and there are two gay-owned businesses in town. Ma Johnson’s Hotel is a fully restored post-Victorian boarding house, known as a living museum. National Geographic described this hotel as “Authentic, memorable, and sustainable.” We are community-oriented, and a favorite Alaskan secret.
I have owned and operated the McCarthy Lodge and a few assorted businesses in McCarthy, Alaska since 2001. I live year-round in this restored ghost town in the center of America’s largest National Park, Wrangell-St Elias. Prior to McCarthy, I was living off the grid on a homestead, north of Fairbanks (with my ex-partner, who grew up in McCarthy).
I just won an award for a mentoring program I created for the state of Alaska and brought it to the SBA.
I hope you can join us!
– Phil Sheldon